Combined Notice Of Finding Of No Significant Impact And Intent To Request Release Of Funds
November 14, 2020
City of Duluth
Planning & Development Division
Room 160, City Hall
411 W 1st St
Duluth, MN 55802
This Notice shall satisfy the above-cited two separate but related procedural notification requirements that the City of Duluth and Ecolibrium3 will be undertaking the following projects listed below:
REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF
On or about November 30, 2020 the City of Duluth will submit a request to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office for authority to proceed with two projects. One project is proposed by a local nonprofit agency, Ecolibrium3, receiving CDBG-CV funds to attach Wi-Fi infrastructure to buildings in order to create free neighborhood-wide Wi-Fi networks for low- to moderate-income residents. The other project is proposed by the City of Duluth to use CDBG funds to acquire and demolish a blighted property for community serving reuse.
CDBG-CV program funds
Neighborhood Digital Recovery and Access Ecolibrium3 CV
Ecolibrium3 will purchase and install wi-fi infrastructure and attach it to community serving and residential buildings in order to create free neighborhood-wide internet networks/nodes during the COVID19 pandemic. This project will help bridge the digital divide and allow LMI people to stay connected to education resources and services that have been moved online during the pandemic. The project will consist of attaching the wi-fi infrastructure components to existing buildings in LMI neighborhoods, no underground wiring will take place. The project will also consist of costs that go towards marketing, outreach, and staff salaries/benefits to help plan and maintain the free wi-fi networks. This is a Tier 1 environmental review. All project sites are not known at this time but will be evaluated for all relevant environmental concerns as they are identified.
The project is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2021.
Total Project Cost: $173,040
HUD Funds: $139,040
No conditions and mitigation measures were identified at the Tier 1 level.
FY 2019 CDBG Funds
19-PF-03 City of Duluth Blight Reduction Project
2213 W 4th Street, Duluth, MN 55806
The purpose of this project is to acquire a currently burned and blighted home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Duluth, Minnesota. The home received considerable fire damage roughly 18 months ago and has remained vacant since. The City of Duluth Fire Department issued a notice and order of condemnation and human habitation for the existing housing structure on July 8, 2019. Additionally, the existing detached garage on this site is in poor condition and will be removed as part of demolition activities.
Due to extensive fire and structural damage, this home is not salvageable for rehabilitation. After the property is acquired from the current property owner for no costs besides that of property closing, the City will issue a request for bids for demolition of the existing housing structure by a licensed and insured demolition contractor. Demolition will involve acquiring necessary permits from the City of Duluth and disconnecting any existing services (i.e. gas, sewer, water, electricity). Additionally, the existing detached garage on this site is in poor condition and will be removed as part of demolition activities. Traditional mechanical demolition is likely for the property as it has considerable fire damage and materials are not salvageable for future use. Mechanical demolition will involve a hydraulic excavator and other heavy equipment to tear down the home and place unwanted refuse into the back of a dumpster or truck. Resulting debris will be hauled away via a trailer or dumpster to a proper waste/sanitary facility. The entire housing structure including the home's foundation will be removed. During demolition activities, adjacent property owners can expect increased noise from heavy equipment and necessary machinery. The project timeline for property acquisition and demolition of the existing housing structure is six months.
After removal of the existing structure, the City of Duluth will begin marketing the property to local housing partners and private developers with the hopes of future infill housing construction. If an interested developer is selected, the site will see additional ground disturbance and construction. Prior to construction of a new structure, site preparation will likely involve clearing the site of any rocks and debris and grading in preparation for installation of a new foundation and footings. If the home design involves a basement, a hole will be dug and the footings and foundation walls will be formed and poured. Additionally, connection to City electric, water, gas, and sewer will be necessary. Funding for this project will be acquisition and demolition costs, not future construction activities. Due to the projects small lot size, future infill housing would need to be a small footprint. Alternatively, the City may desire to maintain the site as a community green space or garden. Ecolobrium3, a local nonprofit in the Lincoln Park neighborhood has recently started a neighborhood greenhouse/garden program. This lot could be a great candidate for said program. The level of environmental review determined for this project is 58.36 (Environmental Assessment).
The project is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2021.
Total Project Cost: $11,500
CDBG Funds: $11,500
No conditions and mitigation measures were identified.
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
The City of Duluth has determined that these projects will have no significant impact on the human environment; therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement, under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), is not required. All permits must be acquired and best management practices, which include but are not limited to storm water management, must be addressed in the project designs and must be approved by the appropriate City authorities, before construction commences. Projects will be monitored during deconstruction and construction for environmental compliance with this finding. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) online at https://www.onecpd.info/environmental-review/environmental-review-records or by emailing duluthcommdev@duluth mn.gov for an electronic copy. Community members may also arrange for a paper copy of the ERR to be mailed to them by calling (218) 730-5580 or by mailing a request to City of Duluth Planning and Development Division, City Hall, Room 160, 411 W 1st St, Duluth, MN 55802. Due to COVID-19 the public will be unable to review a paper copy in person at City Hall.
Any individual, group, or agency disagreeing with this determination or wishing to comment on the project may submit comments to the City of Duluth Planning and Development Division Office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: City Hall, Room 160, 411 W 1st St, Duluth, MN 55802. All comments received by November 30, 2020 will be considered by the City of Duluth, prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Commenters should specify which part of this Notice they are addressing.
The City of Duluth certifies to HUD that Ben VanTassel, in his capacity as Manager of the Planning & Development Division, consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD's approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities, and allows the City of Duluth to use Program funds.
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF
HUD will consider objections to its release of funds and the City of Duluth's certification received by November 30, 2020 or a period of fifteen days from its receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer or other officer of the City of Duluth approved by HUD; (b) the City of Duluth has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR Part 58; (c) the grant recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58) and shall be addressed to the Minnesota Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Planning and Development (CPD) at 212 3rd Ave S #150 Minneapolis, MN 55401. Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period.
City of Duluth, Planning & Development Division Manager
(Nov. 14, 2020) 2866559